Arizona-based speech recognition technology company Advanced Voice Recognition Systems, Inc. (AVRS) has filed a lawsuit against Apple accusing the iPhone maker of infringing on one of its patents with its Siri virtual personal assistant.
The asserted patent is U.S. Patent No. 7,558,730, titled “Speech recognition and transcription among users having heterogeneous protocols.” It was initially filed in 2001 but abandoned, refiled in 2007, and granted in 2009. Siri was first introduced alongside the iPhone 4s in October 2011.
The complaint is very exhaustive and technical, but in simple terms, AVRS believes Siri’s ability to process voice commands across multiple protocols and operating systems, such as iOS and macOS, infringes on its patented technology.
AVRS says Apple has been aware of the patent since at least 2013. The company claims Apple has cited it at least 77 times in other litigation and in its other speech recognition patents. The company claims it sent Apple correspondence about the infringement in 2015, but received no reply. AVRS claims the iPhone make continues to willfully infringe the patent to today.
The Arizona company is demanding a jury trial in district court in its home state, and is seeking unspecified damages from Apple.
AVRS claims it’s speech recognition software was first introduced in 1994. However, the company does not appear to offer any products or services that actually use the technologies, indicating the company could be a “non-practicing entity” (AKA a patent troll.)
Apple hasn’t formally responded to the claim as yet.